Center for Economic Studies
U.S. Census Bureau
4600 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|May 2014||Who do Unions Target? Unionization over the Life-Cycle of U.S. Businesses|
with Jeremy Greenwood, Henry Hyatt: w20151
What type of businesses do unions target for organizing? A dynamic model of the union organizing process is constructed to answer this question. A union monitors establishments in an industry to learn about their productivity, and decides which ones to organize and when. An establishment becomes unionized if the union targets it for organizing and wins the union certification election. The model predicts two main selection effects: unions organizing occurs in larger and more productive establishments early in their life-cycles, and among the establishments targeted for organizing, unions are more likely to win elections in smaller and less productive ones. These predictions find support in union certification election data for 1977-2007 matched with data on establishment characteristics.
|May 2012||The Rise and Fall of Unions in the U.S.|
with Jeremy Greenwood: w18079
Union membership displayed a ∩-shaped pattern over the 20th century, while the distribution of income sketched a ∪. A model of unions is developed to analyze these phenomena. There is a distribution of firms in the economy. Firms hire capital, plus skilled and unskilled labor. Unionization is a costly process. A union decides how many firms to organize and its members' wage rate. Simulation of the developed model establishes that skilled-biased technological change, which affects the productivity of skilled labor relative to unskilled labor, can potentially explain the above facts. Statistical analysis suggests that skill-biased technological change is an important factor in de-unionization.